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Amazon observation
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MacosNerd
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Jul 27, 2007, 09:30 AM
 
Did you know when you select free shipping from amazon they purposely slow down the shipping process. I don't mean they select the cheapest and slowest method (which they do but I'm not complaining about that) but rather they hold the order for days before processing it.

I ordered something that was in stock. Typically that is processed in about a day. This time however I noticed that this time it was sitting there nearly a week. I've also noticed this before. I emailed customer support and they basically say that because I chose free shipping they will not process the order for a while, that is they intentionally held the order because the shipping method. People complained about netflix doing something along the same lines but I don't hear too many people complaining about amazon.

I cancelled the order and I'll place it somewhere else.

Anyone else experience this and thoughts about intentionally slowing orders down because you chose free shipping,.
     
rickey939
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Jul 27, 2007, 09:32 AM
 
Yes, I've noticed this....but hey, it's free! If you want it faster, pay their cheap shipping prices.
     
Dakarʒ
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Jul 27, 2007, 09:33 AM
 
Yes, I noticed. Started happening not too long ago (sometime this year?).

It basically turned out that the free shipping was challenging their Amazon Prime. If I ordered something from their Jersey warehouse, I'd usually have it in 2-3 days.
     
shifuimam
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Jul 27, 2007, 09:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by MacosNerd View Post
Did you know when you select free shipping from amazon they purposely slow down the shipping process. I don't mean they select the cheapest and slowest method (which they do but I'm not complaining about that) but rather they hold the order for days before processing it.
I've never had that happen with Amazon. My orders get processed within 48 hours after ordering (which is completely acceptable IMO), and it takes about three days from the distribution center to get to my home. Granted, the center my stuff comes from is in Louisville, KY and I live in Indianapolis, IN, so that probably helps with the shipping speed. In fact, looking my Amazon history, some stuff shipped the day I ordered it - and I always get free shipping.

Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never had an issue with the free shipping causing inordinate delays in my orders.
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Jul 27, 2007, 09:48 AM
 
Amazon Prime Rules The Earth.
"Everything's so clear to me now: I'm the keeper of the cheese and you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.
That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
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MacosNerd  (op)
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Jul 27, 2007, 09:53 AM
 
The thing that sticks in my craw is not the shipping method but that they chose not process the order. For instance I ordered the software package on tuesday. The estimated arrival date was august 6th to 10th. Since the free shipping is advertised as 3 to 5 days that means they were going sit on my order for at least two weeks and this is for an item that was in stock.

While I'll probably pay a little more for going somewhere else, they lost out in the sale which I know is a drop in the bucket. Netflix was doing this (slowing down orders) with some of their customers and look what it got them a lot of bad press.


Edit:
btw this isn't the first time I noticed this had happened but this is the first time I asked them about it. I've had books and software sit in the queue for 10 days or so before shipping. It just got to a point in frustration that I asked them about it.
( Last edited by MacosNerd; Jul 27, 2007 at 10:02 AM. )
     
RAILhead
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Jul 27, 2007, 10:23 AM
 
Dude, you're getting free shipping -- you're the bottom of the barrel of orders as far as they're concerned, and those willing to pay for shipping (or Prime) get pushed ahead.

You're getting what you're paying for.
"Everything's so clear to me now: I'm the keeper of the cheese and you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.
That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
my bandmy web sitemy guitar effectsmy photosfacebookbrightpoint
     
reader50
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Jul 27, 2007, 11:32 AM
 
I've noticed for several years that selecting the free shipping sometimes results in ship delays. They're less likely if an item is preordered in advance of release. Seems more like a lower priority than a fixed delay.

I use the free shipping all the time and wait them out. Their couple of days translates directly into more money still in the bank.
     
Dakarʒ
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Jul 27, 2007, 11:39 AM
 
Pretty much. I think their mistake was lowering free shipping to $25 orders. Otherwise I would have considered picking up Prime a while ago.
     
Mastrap
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Jul 27, 2007, 11:49 AM
 
Interesting. All of my free shipping orders have been processed almost immediately - one of them considerably faster than I thought it would be. But maybe hat's because I am in Canada, our free shipping doesn't start at $25.00.

I don't think that sayingy 'you get what you pay for' is legitimate. If a company offers free shipping over a certain threshold then I have paid for the service by purchasing good over that amount. If you can't make that pay, don't make the offer. That is not my problem, it's the company's.
     
Dakarʒ
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Jul 27, 2007, 11:58 AM
 
I don't think the complaint is that free shipping is not getting priority. I think the OP is claiming that when their turn comes in line, Amazon is deciding to take an unscheduled 1 hour smoke break.

I haven't had anything that egregious happen, but occasionally it has seemed like an order for an available item has taken a day or two longer than normal. Nothing serious.
     
peeb
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Jul 27, 2007, 12:10 PM
 
Have you read The Undercover Economist? I forget the author, but one of the things he is talking about is how the cheap version of something often has to be made worse than it would be to make the more expensive one more desirable. For example, there was a model of laser printer where there was a slow version and a fast version, with the fast one being more expensive, but it turned out that the slow one was the same printer, with a chip to slow it down. Likewise coach class on airplanes has to be made more crappy than it would otherwise be to make people want to pay for business class - if coach was ok, who would pay extra? Looks like the same is happening here - free regular shipping would be something most people would get, but if it is not as reliable, people might pay more for shipping.
     
Dakarʒ
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Jul 27, 2007, 12:14 PM
 
Didn't some macs do this too? Capped G4s or something...
     
peeb
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Jul 27, 2007, 12:18 PM
 
iBook monitor spanning?
     
Dakarʒ
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Jul 27, 2007, 12:19 PM
 
I meant the processors, but yeah that happened too.
     
MacosNerd  (op)
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Jul 27, 2007, 01:33 PM
 
My complaint is not that I'm in the back of the line, its that I'm not in the line what so ever. the excuse that its free shipping so live with it doesn't fly either. I'm a paying customer who expects my orders to be handled in a timely fashion. Waiting a week for my for my order to be processed is uncalled for and all because I chose to ship it free.
     
Nodnarb
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Jul 27, 2007, 05:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead View Post
Amazon Prime Rules The Earth.
QFT
     
design219
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Jul 27, 2007, 06:12 PM
 
Crap. From the title I thought this was going to be a strong woman appreciation thread.
__________________________________________________

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Was free. Now it's gone. Never to be seen again.
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Dakarʒ
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Jul 27, 2007, 06:15 PM
 
Chyna fan, are ye?
     
design219
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Jul 27, 2007, 06:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakarʒ View Post
Chyna fan, are ye?
Enlighten me, please.
__________________________________________________

My stupid iPhone game: Nesen Probe, it's rather old, annoying and pointless, but it's free.
Was free. Now it's gone. Never to be seen again.
Off to join its brother and sister apps that could not
keep up with the ever updating iOS. RIP Nesen Probe.
     
design219
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Jul 27, 2007, 06:22 PM
 


Oh, cool.
__________________________________________________

My stupid iPhone game: Nesen Probe, it's rather old, annoying and pointless, but it's free.
Was free. Now it's gone. Never to be seen again.
Off to join its brother and sister apps that could not
keep up with the ever updating iOS. RIP Nesen Probe.
     
Big Mac
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Jul 29, 2007, 06:37 AM
 
Free shipping of products that are priced very reasonably to begin with is a bargain whichever way you look at it. I have never been disappointed with the amount of time it has taken to get an Amazon shipment that was shipped with super saver shipping. If you want it there faster, just pay for normal shipping. The last item I bought with normal shipping got to me within two days.

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memento
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Aug 2, 2007, 07:28 PM
 
Interesting, I've just experienced this for the first time. Don't know if it's because of super saver or not. Usually when I order, it gets packed and sent on it's way within a day or 2. I don't care if the shipping method takes up to 14 days because it never takes that long. I just bought (July 30th) a Canon lens for >$400, "in stock", yet it says that they won't be shipping it out until next thursday. that blows. Not even out the door for 10 days. WTF?
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wallinbl
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Aug 2, 2007, 07:35 PM
 
It's not deliberate, it's just that orders with paid shipping are prioritized. They will get to the free ones after the other orders are filled. That makes reasonable and logical sense. All of my free shipping orders go out within 24 hours, many go the same day.
     
MacosNerd  (op)
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Aug 2, 2007, 08:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by wallinbl View Post
It's not deliberate, it's just that orders with paid shipping are prioritized. They will get to the free ones after the other orders are filled. That makes reasonable and logical sense. All of my free shipping orders go out within 24 hours, many go the same day.
That sounds pretty deliberate to me, and so it takes two weeks to handle all of the paid shipping items - that doesn't make sense. I have not problems having them fill the paid shipping items first but I think they purposely put you on hold for a week or two so you get aggrevated and start paying for shipping why else would they know it will take several weeks to process the order (they put that estimate there when you order).
     
Eriamjh
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Aug 2, 2007, 09:45 PM
 
If only there was some way to pay more to have it shipped faster....

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Dakarʒ
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Aug 2, 2007, 10:44 PM
 
It's about processing, not shipping.
     
turtle777
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Aug 3, 2007, 02:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dakarʒ View Post
It's about processing, not shipping.
No, it's about NOT cannibalizing their premium shipping.
Stuff is basically shipped the same, just "released" from the warehouse at different times.

-t
     
Dakarʒ
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Aug 3, 2007, 08:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
No, it's about NOT cannibalizing their premium shipping.
True, Amazon screwed up by providing too good a free product.

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Stuff is basically shipped the same, just "released" from the warehouse at different times.
Prime is two-day right? So the shipping is different. So I guess its the USPS that's killing Amazon's deal.
     
memento
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Aug 3, 2007, 08:39 AM
 
I think Amazon is making a mistake here. I don't mind waiting for longer shipping, but to delay processing will cause me to go elsewhere. I say delay processing, other say "orders with paid shipping are prioritized" - same thing. They seem to be intentionally getting non-free-shipping items out the door faster.

Next time I will think twice about going through Amazon. I spend a good bit of $$$ there and they're quickly on their way to losing it. They were so good for so long. sad.
"Destroy your ego. Trust your brain. Destroy your beliefs. Trust your divinity." -Danny Carey

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awaspaas
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Aug 4, 2007, 09:00 PM
 
You don't know too much about business, do you. With the volume that Amazon ships, the faster they process and pack orders, the more money it costs them! Imagine the extreme - they offer free shipping on everything. If they were to then process every order same-day, they would need to increase their workforce in the warehouses and would have to raise item prices if they didn't want to go out of business.

So, it's a cashflow decision. They offer for-cost shipping at two different tiers, and most likely prioritize the packaging of the products in order of those tiers. If they can't package every item same-day, it makes sense for them to put the fast-track on those who paid for shipping. If it was all random, imagine the outcry if a person who paid for shipping has to wait several days while the person with free shipping got it processed the same day.

Additionally, this provides incentive for the customer to pay more for quicker processing - just like the airplane classes somebody mentioned above.

So, no. Amazon is not purposely sabotaging the free shipping orders, it is providing enhanced service for those who pay for it. You know the idea about money being used for goods AND services, right? Well, with finite limitations on their processing time, they charge for the service of same-day packaging. Of ANY consumers out there, I would imagine that Mac users understand the value involved in paying a little more for quality and service.

Other online companies that offer better deals on shipping and/or faster packaging either deal in much smaller volume, have higher item prices, or will not be able to continue the business model for the long-term.

So again, please, tell me how this is even an issue.
     
Eriamjh
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Aug 5, 2007, 11:53 AM
 
You get a discount on shipping to go to the back of the processing line.

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bradoesch
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Aug 5, 2007, 08:09 PM
 
I think Futureshop in Canada does this too. I live close enough to the warehouse that if they'd ship that day or the next I've have it the next day or the day after.

There's enough reasons not to buy from Futureshop. When they started charging for shipping I stopped ordering and I found NCIX.com. They're awesome.
     
macintologist
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Aug 5, 2007, 08:51 PM
 
This is like grocery stores that have "We Bag" and "You Bag" lines. The "We Bag" lines are longer because most people can't be bothered to bag their own groceries, but for those who are willing to do it themselves, they can hop into the "You Bag" lines without delay.

It's a more efficient allocation of resources.
     
memento
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Aug 6, 2007, 08:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by awaspaas View Post
You don't know too much about business, do you. With the volume that Amazon ships, the faster they process and pack orders, the more money it costs them! Imagine the extreme - they offer free shipping on everything. If they were to then process every order same-day, they would need to increase their workforce in the warehouses and would have to raise item prices if they didn't want to go out of business.

So, it's a cashflow decision. They offer for-cost shipping at two different tiers, and most likely prioritize the packaging of the products in order of those tiers. If they can't package every item same-day, it makes sense for them to put the fast-track on those who paid for shipping. If it was all random, imagine the outcry if a person who paid for shipping has to wait several days while the person with free shipping got it processed the same day.

Additionally, this provides incentive for the customer to pay more for quicker processing - just like the airplane classes somebody mentioned above.

So, no. Amazon is not purposely sabotaging the free shipping orders, it is providing enhanced service for those who pay for it. You know the idea about money being used for goods AND services, right? Well, with finite limitations on their processing time, they charge for the service of same-day packaging. Of ANY consumers out there, I would imagine that Mac users understand the value involved in paying a little more for quality and service.

Other online companies that offer better deals on shipping and/or faster packaging either deal in much smaller volume, have higher item prices, or will not be able to continue the business model for the long-term.

So again, please, tell me how this is even an issue.
I actually know quite a lot about business, thank you. Can you explain how a product that is "in stock" takes 10 days to get put into a box? I can't. I understand prioritizing "paid shipping" orders, but if their resources are THAT limited, then they need to hire more packers. It should never take 10 days to get a product off a shelf and stick it in a box. For their type of business, their mantra should be to move as much product as possible as quickly as possible. period. end of story.
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memento
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Aug 6, 2007, 06:59 PM
 
Once I pointed out to Amazon via customer service that their SuperSaver shipping policy states 3-5 days to ship and it's now been 8 business days, the item has suddenly been shipped within an hour of my email. And it's been shipped to arrive in 2 days. No reply, but it's clear they did not follow their own policy and that I had to point it out to them.
"Destroy your ego. Trust your brain. Destroy your beliefs. Trust your divinity." -Danny Carey

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